The Call of a Youth Pastor
John 21:15-17 says, “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
WHAT IS YOUTH MINISTRY?
Youth ministry has not always been around. In fact, youth ministry is more new than it is old. It began in the early 1940s as a way for the church to reach out to teenagers in a local high school. In the 1970s, churches began to see the need for a concentrated focus on youth and began to bring youth pastors on staff. Youth ministry is simply a ministry that focuses attention on evangelizing and making disciples out of young people.
WHAT A YOUTH PASTOR IS NOT
In today’s modern generation there seems to be some confusion about what a youth pastor really should be. First, it must be understood that a youth pastor is not a volunteer position that needs to be filled. It is and must be a calling. Understandably, not every church can pay a youth pastor, but that’s not the point. The point is, a youth pastor must be called. Youth pastors are not event coordinators, even though at times they will coordinate events. Youth pastors are not babysitters who just hang out with young people while the adults have church. Youth pastors are not called to organize events, they are not called to just fill the void, and they are not called to come up with cool games to keep young people occupied.
WHAT A YOUTH PASTOR IS
A youth pastor is a pastor. A pastor is calling given by God. Ephesians 4:11-12 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
In the Greek, a pastor is literally a shepherd of a flock. A shepherd is one who will feed the sheep, provide oversight, provide protection, and give leading and guidance. He is not just trying to produce good moral character in young people the youth pastor needs to be concerned with providing the spiritual nourishment and protection that his flock needs. Just like our text says, Jesus is telling Peter, “If you love Me, then I am commanding you to feed my sheep.” This is the same command that Jesus is giving to youth pastors: “If you really love Me, then I am commanding you to feed my sheep.”
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